RadioShack's Ben King is preparing his defense of the stars and stripes jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Championships held on Monday, May 30 in Greenville, South Carolina. The 22-year-old Virginia native will arrive to the event in top form having recently helped his teammate Chris Horner win the overall title at the Amgen Tour of California.
"I think it was the perfect preparation and after this week I will rest and my form will be good," King said. "I would love to win the jersey again, I want to and that is my goal."
The Pros will compete for a total of 185kms that includes open small circuits, followed by four large circuits over Paris Mountain, and concluding with additional small circuits. "I love the course in Greenville and this year I have better fitness than last year," King said. "Paris Mountain is decisive and selective and a breakaway will win the race again but it might be one that is more of a selection rather than just an early breakaway."
Last year, King was involved in an early breakaway that included three other riders. He attacked his companions half way into the race and soloed to the finish line. He was the first Under 23 rider to have won the USA Pro Cycling Championships.
"I don't think anyone will let me go again like last year," King said. "I think if I want to have a chance this year than I will have to change my tactics."
King will be joined by teammates Matt Busche and Jason McCartney for the championship event. All three played an integral role in helping his teammates Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer place first and second respectively at the Amgen Tour of California, an eight-day race that concluded last Sunday. Neither Horner nor Leipheimer will be attending the event and will instead be focused on their preparations for the Tour de France.
"The week at the Tour of California was great and I will be up there in the wind a lot with Markel [Irizar] and Jason and the rest of the guys. I love it, it is so rewarding. It is so cool to finish my job early on and roll up the climb. It was cool to get to the top and have the spectators tell me that Chris won by a minute and half and Levi was second. It was cool to finish and see how happy everyone was, very exciting."